When Sean's wife signed him up to coach his daughter's soccer team, he knew little about the sport. However, as with any challenge, he wanted to take a data-driven approach.
Since scoring itself didn't occur often enough to analyze, Sean tracked shots on goal instead. He then used each game as an experiment, constantly shifting player positions between quarters to gather data on different lineups.
By recording shots for both teams each period, Sean looked for trends that could help optimize performance. His testing revealed one lineup dominated possession and shots. This allowed Sean to improve the team significantly, gaining so much control of games that the league complained he was scoring too much.
Sean's success in enhancing soccer performance showed growth hacking methodology applies broadly. Testing and optimizing anywhere yields opportunity for measurable advancement.
Coaching my daughter's soccer team, I knew little of strategy, but growth hacked: understanding players, tracking goals, mixing positions, optimizing from data. —Sean Ellis
I had an insightful conversation with Sean Ellis, who will be visiting Istanbul in February 2024 as part of his global growth-hacking world tour. His tour aims to not only teach strategies but help implement them through workshops.
7 Key notes from our chat that I noted down.
- Nothing's perfect; through testing we improve.
- Without product-market fit validation, growth hacking just accelerates the path to failure
- Understanding human psychology is key, like our response to peer influence.
- Growth comes from a team working closely together, with shared metrics and experimentation.
- Growth hacking looks the same globally - what matters is effective cross-team execution.
- Metrics should show sustained customer value, not vanity signals like downloads.
- Growth culture builds from shared goals and wins from experimentation, not documents.
One of the biggest mistakes I see is startups trying to use growth hacking before validating their product-market fit. —Sean Ellis
Sean Ellis' Book Recommendations
If your company's growth teams are interested in meeting with Sean Ellis while he is in Istanbul, there are several ways to contact him regarding his expertise and programs: